Farmer Feature: Nkesiga Jane

In our third farmer feature, we share our interview with Jane - an inquisitive member of the Rubirizi Farmers Group, always curious about new organic ways to treat banana wilt and other diseases that affect harvests. In showing us around her plot of young plantain trees, she did us the courtesy of answering a few questions about herself. Read on for more!

Jane showing off her young plantain trees.

Jane showing off her young plantain trees.

Name: Nkesiga Jane
Age: 42 years young
Family: I have 5 children (and I'm married to James!) 

What crops do you grow on your farm?
Green plantain (matooke), sweet plantain (gonja), apple bananas, and beans.

What is your favorite fruit?
Avocado.

What have you learned about organic farming?
Spraying is harmful to health and environment. 

How is Organic farming important?
There are many advantages. Consistent use of spray can lead to cancer, so non-chemical farming is important to help with prevention. Additionally, maintaining organic standards can help with soil fertility, and the environment at large.

What is the value of working in a farmers cooperative?
We have easier access to extension services that help in agronomic practices. Its easier to collect ideas and get larger volumes - it helps us as farmers to be able to produce all at once. It also helps us network and leverage. Other donations may come, making it easier to acquire inputs for farming.

Farmer Feature: Mugenyi Edith

Edith and the small plot of sweet plantains outside of her home.Β 

Edith and the small plot of sweet plantains outside of her home. 

Our next farmer feature focuses on one of the outstanding members of the Rubirizi Farming Cooperative - Edith. Edith has been a role model for many of her peers and community members. She grows some of the most delicious, healthy plantains, and does so with a sense of pride. She's also a charismatic speaker and savvy businesswoman: since we've begun purchasing plantains from Edith and her community, she has invested in growing several more acres of sweet plantain, allowing her to maintain and grow opportunities in the local market while keeping up with our increasing demand. At meetings, she stands up to educate her peers on the benefits of investing in expanding their agricultural assets and improving the quality of their offerings as a group. Read on to learn more about Edith!

Name: Mugenyi Edith
Age: 57 years young
Family: I have 5 children and 6 grandchildren. The oldest is now 10 years old. 

What crops do you grow on your farm?
I'm a jack of all trades. I grow ground nuts (peanuts), beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, apple bananas, maize, yams, green plantains (matooke), sweet plantains (gonja), and cinnamon!

What is your favorite fruit?
Pineapple.

Edith animatedly explaining the difference between mature and immature plantain bunches.

Edith animatedly explaining the difference between mature and immature plantain bunches.

What have you learned from organic farming?
How to preserve soil and eat healthy.

How is Organic farming important to you?
I believe that when you believe in something, you have to follow. Now that I know about the dangers of chemicals, I know I have to keep my family healthy and conserve the land for my children.

What is the value of working in a farmers cooperative?
It is important to keep us encouraged. I have my weaknesses, and when I see a friend doing better, I strive to copy and improve myself. 

Farmer Feature: Nkesiga James

One of our favorite parts of our recent trip to Uganda was reconnecting with our farmers group. In addition to attending a community meeting, we were lucky to visit with a few farmers one-on-one, and wanted to share some of our quick interviews with you. Read on to get to know James on our first Farmer Feature!

James - proud plantain papa!

James - proud plantain papa!

Name: Nkesiga James
Age: 45 years young
Do you have children? Yes! I have 5.

What crops do you grow on your farm?
Sweet plantains (gonja), coffee, green plantains (matooke)

What is your favorite fruit?
Mango

What have you learned about organic farming?
I learned not to use sprays and to make buffers to protect my organic plot.

Why is Organic farming important to you?
Chemicals can cause health issues, and I want to protect the environment.

What is the value of working in a farmers cooperative?
The sharing of ideas.

Recipe Round Up - May Edition!

Ready for Round 2?

Our readers loved our first Blogger Recipe Round Up last month, so we thought - why not it monthly?! Thanks to our one-of-a-kind drying and roasting process, our chips pack a bold plantain flavor and hearty crunch, without crumbly or greasy residue. Their cracker-like density makes them perfect for dipping, dunking, or incorporating into healthy recipes. Read on to see some of the most recent creations and reviews by food bloggers.